Marc Jacobs ended the season at Louis Vuitton
in Paris as he began it with his own show in New York: with the eighties.
Different city, different accent, though, and this slice of the late eighties—ruffled,
ruched, and poufed as it was—looked as if Jacobs had pulled out his
1987 magazines and worked up a playful homage to Christian Lacroix. He didn’t
quite put it that way backstage, however. Jacobs said that, partly in preparation
for the Model as Muse exhibition at the Met and his role as honorary chair
of the opening gala, he was thinking of “all those great French muses
of the late eighties.” Specifically, he cited Marie Seznec (who modeled
for Lacroix), Victoire de Castellane (who worked for Chanel), and Inès
de la Fressange (who was virtually French fashion mascot in chief at the
time).Looking back on those days of chichi fashion extremes brought out a lot
of jeune Parisienne frivolity in the clothes, if not the staging, which
was done, pseudo-salon style, without a runway (albeit in a large transparent
tent parked, as usual, in a courtyard of the Louvre). The chance of a
close inspection revealed lots of puffy peplum jackets, tons of shirring
and ruching (in print or leather), bubble skirts, bejeweled satin leggings,
and a mini lace Marie Antoinette pannier dress with a saucy sheer balconette.
Jacobs’ take on big shoulders ran from grosgrain bow-smothered balloon
puffs to the widest short coats (in camel or red) on any runway—almost
as broad as they were long.
It was also a rich accessory fest for the leather goods company. Leather
necklaces and belts came fashioned like paper chains, and thigh boots
were topped with ruffles and balanced on pearl and glitter-covered heels.
The all-important bags had also acquired eighties pie-crust frills and
gilded monograms. If it wasn’t quite the fashion tour de force of Vuitton’s
Spring collection, this penultimate show of an often dour and cautious
season read as a welcome interlude of cheerful, flirty confidence in a